William Robert WOODLEY

WOODLEY, William Robert

Service Number: 2666
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 39th Infantry Battalion
Born: Seaton, Devonshire, England, 12 September 1886
Home Town: Flemington, Strathfield, New South Wales
Schooling: Nations School, Seaton, Devonshire, England
Occupation: Brick Burner
Died: Influenza & Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, Military Hospital, Tidworth, Wiltshire, England , 16 March 1917, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Tidworth Military Cemetery, England
Grave C. 304. Personal Inscription BEHOLD I AM THE LORD THE GOD OF ALL FLESH JER. 32-27,
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

9 Nov 1916: Involvement Private, 2666, 39th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '18' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Benalla embarkation_ship_number: A24 public_note: ''
9 Nov 1916: Embarked Private, 2666, 39th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Sydney

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He was 30 and the son of John and Sarah Woodley, of Brickworks, Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, England.

He is remembered on the  War Memorial in St. Mary’s Church at Ottery St. Mary in Devon.

Births Dec 1886 Woodley William Robert Axminster 5b 12
Deaths Mar 1917 Woodley William R 30 Andover 2c 382

Biography contributed by Cathy Sedgwick

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick (OAM) – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland”

Died on this date – 16th March …… William Robert Woodley was born at Seaton, Devonshire, England on 12th September, 1886 to parents John Carnel Woodley & Sarah Woodley (nee Channon).

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 3rd October, 1916 as a 30 year old, single, Brick Burner from Hamstead Road, Flemington, Sydney, New South Wales.

Private Robert Woodley (name as listed on Embarkation Roll), Service number 2666, embarked from Sydney, New South Wales on HMAT Benalla (A24) on 9th November, 1916 with the 39th Infantry Battalion, 5th Reinforcements & disembarked at Devonport, England on 9th January, 1917.

Reinforcements were only given basic training in Australia. Training was completed in training units in England. Some of these were located in the Salisbury Plain & surrounding areas in the county of Wiltshire.

He was marched in to 10th Training Battalion at Durrington, Wiltshire on 10th January, 1917 from Australia.

On 10th February, 1917 Private Woodley was sent sick to Parkhouse Hospital, Wiltshire.  He was admitted to Fargo Hospital, Wiltshire on 19th February, 1917 with Influenza. (The Hospital Admissions form recorded he was admitted to Fargo S. P. on 9th February, 1917 with the following comments “Influenza improved. Transferred to Tidworth for mental observation. He was excitable and  ____ also dirty in his habits…..”). Private Woodley was transferred to Military Hospital, Tidworth on 2nd March, 1917 – cause N.Y.D. (not yet determined). (Note: Casualty Form – Active Service has “Cerebro Spinal Meningitis” written in red. The Hospital Admissions form recorded he was admitted on 2nd March with Nuerasthenia then on 15th March he was suffering from Cerebro Spinal Meningitis).


Private William Robert Woodley died at 2.25 am on 16th March, 1917 at Military Hospital, Tidworth, Wiltshire, England from Influenza & Cerebro Spinal Meningitis.

He was buried in Tidworth Military Cemetery, Wiltshire, England – Plot number C. 304 and now has a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.


(The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)